As we know Steve Jobs and other Apple execs have recently condemned the Flash plugin as too CPU intensive for use in their products, instead suggesting everyone follow their lead in moving to h.264 playback in html5. Jan Ozer of the Streaming Learning Center has run some comparison tests as to which method uses the most cpu resources.
Only Safari and Chrome currently support html5 h.264. First thing he found was that as far as Safari in Windows goes that support is imaginary as it doesn’t work.
On Macs, however, Safari html5 showed marked superiority – 12.39% versus all the competition at 40-50%. On Windows Flash 10 had a slight lead but once he upgraded to Flash 10.1, which takes advantage of hardware acceleration, there were massive CPU savings – in chrome, for example, dropping the load to 6.3%.
Ozer quotes Anand Lai Shimpi as saying that it’s up to Apple to expose the “hooks” that would allow Flash to exploit hardware acceleration in their products.
Apple complaining about Flash being a CPU Hog while not exposing “the appropriate hooks” to enable Adobe to access hardware acceleration seems disingenous at best. To be fair to Apple, though, the iPad related timing was unfortunate, with the bulk of the development work done under the shadow of Flash Player 10.0, which didnt offer hardware acceleration other than full screen on any platform and was clearly less efficient than the HTML5-based approach Apple adopted. Now that Adobe has proven the concept on Windows, perhaps Apple will cooperate with Adobe to make hardware acceleration on the Mac, iPad and future devices happen. If they choose not to, however, they should quit pointing fingers at Flash.
What else? We also learned that not all HTML5 browsers/H.264 decoders are created equal. Significantly, with Flash 10.1 deployed, Googles HTML5 implementation required the most CPU horsepower of all playback scenarios — by far — on the Windows platform. On the Mac, Firefox and Safari with Flash required less CPU horsepower than Chromes HTML5 implementation.At least from a CPU utilization perspective, Flash isnt BAD and HTML5 isnt GOOD. It all depends upon the platform and implementation